Staff of the Federal University, Lafia, are set to embark on indefinite strike in protest of an attempt by the university’s vice chancellor, Prof. Ekanem Braide, to pay them half salary for the month of January.
This followed a directive by the university’s management yesterday directing staff to sign a document in their departments authorising the university to pay them half of their statutory earnings for last month.
Both teaching and non-teaching staff of the university were expectantly awaiting alert for the belated salary of January, only to be confronted with a document by their respective heads of department with a document which stated that they had to sign to entitle them for half salary.
The document, which read: “In view of the shortfall in January allocation, the following senior staff and academic staff of the university hereby consent to be paid with 50 percent Responsibility Allowance (where applicable) and excluding Peculiar Allowance for the month of January 2016,” was not signed by any official of the institution.
Angered by the issuance of the said document titled ‘Consent to Part Payment of January Salary,’ leadership of the university’s Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU, quickly convened a meeting calling on all members not to sign the document.
Sources at the meeting said the union, which was inaugurated only last week in the university by the national body, directed all its members not to append their signatures on the document.
They also resolved that the hazard allowance which the university unilaterally suspended without consultation last year must be restored immediately.
Members of the ASUU have also vowed to resist the “arm-twisting tactics of the vice chancellor” whom they accused of using bully tactics to deny them their legitimate earnings.
They wondered why the VC could not issue a circular to inform staff of the delay in the payment of salaries and the purported shortfall in the allocation to the university last month before issuing the directive.
Leadership of ASUU sent text messages to its members from Minna in Niger State where they are attending a zonal meeting of the union, advising them not to sign the document which they described as deceitful.
The stage appears set for a serious confrontation of the university management by staff who said they had tolerated the excesses of the university management led by Prof. Braide for too long.
The vice chancellor has a rich pedigree of confrontation with unionists dating back to her days as the VC of Cross River State University of Science and Technology, where her tenure was marred by incessant clashes with staff for what is described as her brash and dictatorial style.

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